Employers told: Revisit labor advisories on work suspension

Employers told: Revisit labor advisories on work suspension

THE Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said that now is an ideal time to revisit the existing labor advisory on work suspension due to weather disturbances to ensure the health and safety of workers while addressing their financial needs. 

Sofriano Mataro, vice president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP)- Mindanao, said in an interview with the dxDC-RMN earlier this week that it is important to provide protection to workers, especially given the risk to their health and safety posed by the high heat index. 

“Kanang proposal ni Senator Jinggoy Estrada, atoa na syang gina-welcome kay makatabang kini didto sa direktang mga apektado sa mga workplaces (We welcome Senator Jinggoy Estrada's proposal because it can help those directly affected in the workplaces),” Mataro said.

He added that each workplace should have proper ventilation and employers should always consider the employees' situation. 

Sen. Estrada previously urged employers to go beyond the minimum requirements outlined in Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Advisory No. 17-2022. 

He suggested that they should offer extra help or benefits to their employees who need to take time off because of the extreme heat. 

“Providing additional incentives or benefits to those who brave the heat to keep our economy running during weather disturbances is fair and shows our commitment to their well-being,” he said. 

Estrada, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources, also pointed out that according to the Dole advisory, workers can opt not to go to work because of the risks associated with extreme heat without worrying about facing sanctions.

However, the same Dole advisory states that workers who choose not to work due to extreme heat may not receive their usual pay for that day. But there are exceptions: workers may still be paid if there is a company policy or agreement allowing it, or if they can use their accumulated leave credits.  

Estrada said he appreciates the flexibility provided by the advisory, but he highlights the importance of making sure that workers are not treated unfairly with the advisory's provisions. 

“I appreciate the flexibility provided by Dole Advisory No. 17-2022, which may apply especially to some workers who have comorbidities. The scorching heat may pose a risk to their health and safety at work,” Estrada noted.

He also sought that employees who do not have enough leave credits can be considered.

“In this situation, I urge employers to exercise compassion and understanding during extreme weather conditions. It is important that we give recognition and value to the dedication of our employees who continue to work despite the hot weather condition,” he emphasized. DEF


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